Under the Answering Sky

Denise Riley

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I can manage being alone,

can pace out convivial hope

across my managing ground.

Someone might call, later.


What do the dead make of us

that we’d flay ourselves trying

to hear them though they may

sigh at such close loneliness.


I would catch, not my echo,

but their guarantee that this

bright flat blue is a mouth

of the world speaking back.


There is no depth to that blue.

It won’t ‘bring the principle

of darkness with it’, but hums

in repose, as radiant static.

“Under the Answering Sky” by Denise Riley, from Say Something Back. Copyright © 2016 by Denise Riley. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Say Something Back (Pan Macmillan, 2016)